January is a month full of depressing thoughts for a lot of people, maybe that’s why Bell moved their Let’s Talk day to January to help shed some light on mental health. The winter holidays are over (yes I’m talking about Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Eve mostly) but it’s still winter. The days are getting longer, but it’s still dark shortly after 5pm so a lot of people are missing out on day light … but there’s Robbie Burns Day and Granville Island Brewing’s Scottish Ale to brighten your month!
Kilts, haggis and bag pipes come to mind for this festive day, but the day before Mr. Burns’ Day I had the opportunity to go to GIB’s Granville Island location and sit down with 19 other people to try a couple pints of this winter-release beer, and my new favourite food item – a scotch egg. If you’ve never tried one of these, or heard of one, you need to change that (unless you don’t eat eggs or meat). It is a boiled egg, wrapped in sausage meat, breaded, and deep fried. Chef Andre made up a batch of these for the special guests and the pairing was spot-on. The tarragon and thyme seasoned the Linguissa sausage in a way that complimented the caramel malts perfectly. The creaminess of the egg and the crunch of the deep-fried crust was what I wanted when drinking the beer I was really there for.
Granville Island Brewing’s Scottish Ale is a lovely brown copper colour with notes of sweet caramel, rich roasted malts, and it gets tastier as it comes to room temperature. As I typically say with darker beers, let this one warm up a little, because honestly, who wants a cold brew in the dead of winter? It’s the time of year for red wine, soup, fire places, and dark beer, all of which are better served above 4˚C. The richness of the flavours really comes out as the beer comes up in temperature, but also be aware that it rings in at 6.5% Alc./Vol, so adjust your quantities! That was another wonderful part of this evening at GIB, when we were ready to leave they gave us a taxi voucher to get home safely, thanks Granville Island Brewing, it was much appreciated.
This winter, I recommend you pick up a bottle or two of GIB’s Scottish Ale, a few good people, and maybe try your hand at a new winter dish – a butternut squash soup with fresh focaccia bread comes to mind. Beam me up Scotty.